2014 Dodgers Top Prospects - #45-36

2014 Dodgers Top Prospects - #45-36

In the second installment, we take a look at prospects from Aaron Miller to Faustino Oguisten.

45. Aaron Miller, OF

2013 Stats: .266/.332/.419 in 321 PAs
2013 Level: Great Lakes

Drafted out of Baylor as a pitcher, Miller was considered an outfielder until his junior year when injuries forced him into the Bears' rotation. He looked good in the low minors, posting an ERA of under 3.00 between Great Lakes and Rancho Cucamonga. However, he couldn't figure out Double A and the Dodgers decided to convert him back to a hitter. Now 26, the road ahead is long for Aaron, as he's already old for any level and needs to hit advanced pitching. He'll also need to prove himself proficient in the field, as he was almost exclusively a DH last season. I wouldn't be too surprised if he gave pitching another go in a few years.

44. Blake Smith, RHP

2013 Stats: 19.2 IP, 2 HR, 19 BB, 12 K's
2013 Level: Rancho Cucamonga

I purposefully placed Miller and Smith back to back, given that they were two of the Dodgers' top three picks in 2009 and both switched positions in 2013. Smith struggled in his second go-round through Double A, batting just .233 in 74 games before the organization pulled the plug. Now, also 26, the odds are against him as he moves up the ladder. The walks are the biggest concern right now but may also be the easiest to overcome, given he hadn't pitched in five years. He'll also need to prove he can still throw a breaking ball, as he's already showcased low 90s velocity.

43. Jonathan Garcia, OF

2013 Stats: .237/.287/.436 in 478 PAs
2013 Level: Rancho and Chattanooga

Garcia was having a very nice season for himself in High A, posting a .911 OPS with 17 home runs through 68 games. The club decided to challenge the 21 year old with a promotion to Double A, but he sputtered, batting just .168 in the final two months of the season. Jon is a power/power guy, as he racked up 18 home runs and 15 outfield assists in 2013. However, I don't know how much he'll be able to get on base and how effective he'll be in the field going forward, which is why he's ranked so low. If anyone on this list makes me look at in 2014, I'd bet on Garcia being that guy.

42. Carlos Frias, RHP

2013 Stats: 130.1 IP, 9 HR, 41 BB, 105 K's
2013 Level: Great Lakes, Rancho and Chattanooga

Frias is a hard guy to nail down. He has the size and velocity to make an impact but never really put it together until 2013. He had the most success in Rancho of all places, striking out more than a batter an inning and showing good control. However, when he got to Chattanooga, he pitched mostly out of the pen and struggled to miss bats. At 24, he's more likely a reliever in the long run.

41. Lindsey Caughel, RHP

2013 Stats: 143.2 IP, 14 HR, 23 BB, 138 K's
2013 Level: Great Lakes and Rancho

Caughel is yet another one of the prospects from the 2012 draft class that has surprised people. A 23rd rounder out of Stetson, he breezed through rookie ball in his debut and continued rolling thru the low minors in 2013. His 1.4 BB/9 stood out and even though he gave up more hits than you'd like, he also struck out nearly a batter an inning. His stuff is average across the board but he succeeds thanks to his excellent command and control. He'll need to continue hitting his spots once he reaches Double A.

40. Brandon Trinkwon, SS

2013 Stats: .283/.325/.464 in 253 PAs
2013 Level: Ogden and Great Lakes

Trinkwon was the club's 7th round pick in 2013 out of UC Santa Barbara. The Tustin native came out of the gates quick, batting .362 in 33 games for the Raptors before moving up to Great Lakes late in the year. Full season ball proved to be too much for the 21 year old, as he hit just .168 through the final month. He has solid tools all around and enough pop and speed to make a difference on offense. Brandon is likely headed back to Michigan to begin 2014.

39. Josmar Cordero, C

2013 Stats: .272/.331/.482 in 128 PAs
2013 Level: Arizona League

After languishing in the Dominican Summer League for three years, Cordero finally came stateside in 2013 and had a successful American debut. The 21 year old caught exclusively in his first year in the organization, but has since begun splitting his time behind the plate and at first base. After throwing out half of his attempted basestealers in 2012, he threw out just one of the 12 attempted in 2013. The bat is definitely intriguing and if he can stick behind the plate, his value would be significantly higher than if he ends up at first.

38. Chris Jacobs, 1B

2013 Stats: .261/.354/.468 in 390 PAs
2013 Level: Rancho and Chattanooga

When he squares it up, I doubt there's anyone in the system who can match Big Jake's power. He's every bit of the 6'5 257 lbs he's listed at. This year, he finally got out of the low minors and landed in Double A, though he struggled to make contact. Now, at 25, Chris doesn't have a lot of time to make adjustments. However, if he cuts down on the K's, look for him to make some big noise with the Lookouts.

37. Jharel Cotton, RHP

2013 Level: 74 IP, 4 HR, 23 BB, 72 K's
2013 Level: Great Lakes, Rancho and Chattanooga

Another late-rounder from 2012, Cotton began his career as a starter but figures to settle in as a reliever moving forward. He got hit a bit in Double A, but didn't allow any home runs in 8 appearances and struck out 11 in 10 innings. He's small and sturdy, with a fastball that's been clocked in the mid 90s and a good curve. He won't turn 22 until January, so there's plenty of time for him to adjust to older and more advanced competition.

36. Faustino Oguisten, SS

2013 Stats: .297/.425/.407 in 114 PAs
2013 Level: Arizona League and Ogden

Oguisten didn't play much in 2013, but he left quite an impression on me. After parts of three seasons in the Dominican, he finally reached the states in 2011. However, he only played in 5 games in 2012 and 34 last season. With the AZL Dodgers, he played all over the field, except catcher and first base. He also stole 16 out of 20 bases combined. Hopefully he'll be able to play a full season in 2014 with the Loons.

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